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m beezo
05-20-2007, 10:13 PM
I have a job for a real estate company that I work for occasionally. The house inspector is requiring a graspable handrail be installed on the back porch cedar deck. All I seem to be able to find for handrails are interior ones of either oak or pine. I am talking about the 2 inch round with the flat bottom that gets attached to a handrail bracket.

What are you guys using for handrails? Making your own out of cedar or some other exterior wood? Other issue is the rail needs to be just over 13 feet long.

And what are you using for handrail brackets. The hardware for the deck is the black iron Simpson brackets, at least what you see. The homeowner would like a similiar look in the handrail brackets but everywhere I look I see brass coated, white painted and some bronze. Any sources for handrail brackets?

David Meiland
05-20-2007, 10:27 PM
I've given up on making exterior handrail out of wood. I get them welded out of 1-5/8" OD steel tubing, usually complete with brackets and/or posts. Paint as needed.

Dick Seibert
05-20-2007, 10:38 PM
David:

Me too. I have my wrought iron guy make them and just bolt them on, quick easy, cheaper in the long run and no code problems.

David Meiland
05-20-2007, 11:14 PM
Trying to make long-lasting rails that have the necessary returns... all those miters... forget it. They feel flimsy, the joints open up and the wood eventually gives off splinters. I had to make some slightly unusual rails for my own front porch and couldn't see doing them in wood, so I got a welder to do them and have never looked back. People really like sturdy rails that are smooth, and I have had no problems selling them.

Dick Seibert
05-21-2007, 12:13 AM
David:

They'll learn from us Cailfironains, and former Californinas.

Bill Robinson
05-21-2007, 01:30 AM
Or get a wire feed welding machine and make your own.

Bill R

Bill Lacey
05-21-2007, 02:13 AM
RDI has a product that might work. As far as I know, it's the only vinyl railing system approved for ADA use.

http://www.rdirail.com/products/endurance/hr_home.htm

bkerley
05-21-2007, 08:53 AM
Trying to make long-lasting rails that have the necessary returns... all those miters... forget it. They feel flimsy, the joints open up and the wood eventually gives off splinters. I had to make some slightly unusual rails for my own front porch and couldn't see doing them in wood, so I got a welder to do them and have never looked back. People really like sturdy rails that are smooth, and I have had no problems selling them.

I agree with David all the way here. However, we do continue to make our own out of 2x6 when the situation demands it. I use a 2x6 mounted edgeways to 2x4 back blocking that is fastened to the balustrade or wherever you would mount your handrail.

Before mounting, we use a 1/2" roundover bit on both top edges to create the round profile. Then we use a 3/4" core box type bit and run it on both sides at around 1" down to provide the grip ablility. I haven't had one turned down yet. It looks very similar to the combination hand/rub rails used at hospitals.

Greg Di
05-21-2007, 10:08 AM
Most inspectors by me (knock on wood) don't enforce the "graspable" issue when I install an engineered PVC or fiberglass railing system. The HOs don't usually want the ugly graspable part to ruin the look of railing system anyway.

On two occassions, I installed a graspable rail on cedar and/or pine railings that I built and when I came back, the HO's had each removed it as soon as I left.

Jon Blakemore
05-21-2007, 02:06 PM
We use these railing from Mid Atlantic Vinyl Products (http://www.mvpweatherwise.com/vinyl_railing.html). They work well, are cost effective, and meet all requirements that I'm aware of.

I think you can order online and have the shipped to you via UPS.

BigLou80
05-21-2007, 08:00 PM
http://copperbeech.com/dotnetnuke/default.aspx

I would go there, they can make you almost any profile out of almost any wood you like. shipping might be costly though

Lou

jeffaah
05-21-2007, 09:18 PM
I usually rip my 2x4 fir or mahog top rails down to 2-1/4 and round over the edges. I've never had on fail inspection

James Eggert
05-22-2007, 07:56 AM
The code key is "graspable" and it doesn't matter what you use!

It sounds like Brad is making the same as the vinyl profiles by doing the 1" dropdown routing!